NOTE: This story contains details that some may find disturbing. Please read at your own discretion.

By Josh K. Elliott  Global News

An unidentified 69-year-old man from Ohio, died of COVID-19 after exhibiting a bizarre and extremely rare side effect of the disease, which they described as a three-hour erection.

The U.S. patient was suffering from priapism, which involves a persistent erection that outlasts or has nothing to do with sexual stimulation, according to the case report published in the January edition of the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

The patient, who was obese, was sedated and put on a ventilator when his condition deteriorated and his lungs started to fail after 10 days of treatment. 

Medics placed him face down in the prone position for 12 hours as an emergency technique to help get air around his body. When he was turned onto his back later in the afternoon, nurses noticed he had developed an erection. 

Based on ultrasound scans, it was ultimately determined that he was suffering from ischemic priapism, an urgent and potentially dangerous condition during which blood cannot leave the penis. The condition was likely triggered by a blood clot caused by COVID-19, according to the case report.

An ice pack was applied to the patient’s penis to try to bring the swelling down but the stiffness persisted for three hours. Doctors then had to drain the blood from his penis using a needle. While the priapism did not return, the patient died in ICU when his lungs eventually failed.  

A Covid patient in the US had to have blood drained from his penis after suffering a painful three-hour erection due to a rare complication of the disease

The condition — which can cause permanent damage unless treated quickly — is known to become excruciating. 

The swelling subsided 30 minutes after his penis had been drained and the patient was put on a drip which included medication to prevent blood clots, according to the case report, but his condition continued to worsen. He suffered a prolonged course of acute respiratory distress syndrome, was moved to the intensive care unit and ultimately died.

Covid has been found in many patients to damage blood vessels, causing dangerous blood clots. 

The late patient’s identity was not released.

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